John Wilson, photographed outside the Allen Institute for Brain Science in South Lake Union. Kelly O

You've called tax assessor "the most obscure job" in local government. Why run for it?

The office's importance far outweighs its obscurity. It touches everyone who lives or works in King County. It doesn't matter whether you're a homeowner, renter, business operator, or corporation. One way or the other, you're paying property taxes directly or indirectly. And then property taxes fund so many basic services—schools, transportation, health, public safety.

What would an effective tax assessor do in office?

The next assessor has to be at the table on affordable housing. The office can pinpoint public and private properties ripe for development into affordable housing, and make sure everyone's paying their fair share and that we capture tax cheats.

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You used to be a broadcast journalist at KING 5 News. I'm sorry our readers can't hear your TV reporter voice, because it is glorious. What's your favorite TV sign-off?

"Live from Hayden Lake, Idaho, I'm John Wilson, KING 5 News" (with a guy from Aryan Nations carrying a loaded AK-47 standing behind me). recommended